Roy Moore Will Be Another GOP Maverick – If He Can Win

Judge Roy Moore cruised to victory in the Alabama Republican primary runoff yesterday. Moore’s victory came despite heavy support by President Trump and Republican leaders in Washington for incumbent Luther Strange. In fact, some of the Washington endorsements for Strange probably did more to help Roy Moore than their intended recipient.

President Trump’s endorsement of Luther Strange had a limited effect. Polling in late August showed Roy Moore with 51 percent and 32 percent for Strange with 17 percent undecided. Moore won the actual vote 55-45 percent, which seems to indicate that a majority of undecided voters broke for Strange.

Politics makes strange bedfellows. Few have been as strange as the alliance between Donald Trump and Luther Strange, who was singled out as a “swamp creature” by many conservatives. Strange was hobbled from the start by opponents who tied him to two recent corruption scandals in Alabama. Strange was among the many Alabama politicians, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who took money from a company that was later charged with bribing a state legislator in connection with an EPA cleanup. He was also tainted by his appointment to the Senate by Gov. Robert Bentley at the same time that Strange, who was then Alabama’s attorney general, was investigating the governor for corruption in a scandal that eventually led to his impeachment.

In spite of appeals by the president and prominent Republicans, most conservative groups rallied behind Moore, who ran primarily against Mitch McConnell, who had also endorsed Strange. The August poll by JMC Analytics found that 45 percent said that McConnell’s endorsement made them less likely to vote for Strange. Forty-six percent said it made no difference.

The antipathy to the Republican leadership comes at an inopportune time. The Republicans have just suffered an embarrassing defeat on Obamacare thanks to a small number of Republican senators who deserted the party to vote against the Republican reform bill. Roy Moore has strong conservative and Christian credentials, but he will not be a senator who can be counted on to stand with the party on votes for bills like Graham-Cassidy.

Moore has a reputation as a maverick and a rebel. Moore was twice elected to the Alabama Supreme Court and was twice removed. In 2003, a panel ruled that Moore had violated the state ethics code and removed him from the bench after he ignored a federal court order instructing him to remove a Ten Commandments monument. In 2015, Moore was suspended again for ordering state judges to ignore the Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage the law of the land. While Moore has remained true to his principles, his actions have not been effective at advancing his agenda.

President Trump, at this weekend rally for Luther Strange, made two key arguments for Strange. The first was that Strange was a loyal legislator who had been a reliable vote for the Trump agenda. Moore overcame this objection by running as a supporter of the Trump agenda, even if he might be less of a sure vote than Luther Strange. “Don’t let anybody in the press think that because he [Trump] supported my opponent that I do not support him,” Moore said in the New York Times after his victory.

Trump’s second point was that Moore might not be electable in the general election. He may have a point there. The eccentric former judge has a history of controversial remarks and even pulled out a pistol at a campaign rally the day before the election. The possibility of Moore pulling “a Todd Akin” and handing to the election to the Democrats with an outlandish comment is a real possibility.

In the crimson state of Alabama, as the Republican candidate, the race is Moore’s to lose. Whether Moore wins or loses, the Republican problems in the Senate will not be resolved and it will still be difficult to advance the Republican agenda. The real loser is the traditional Republican establishment whose endorsements were rejected by voters even as the candidates fought over who was President Trump’s best ally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luther Strange Campaigns Against McConnell Despite Being Backed By McConnell

All eyes are on the Alabama Senate runoff election on Tuesday as President Trump campaigns on behalf of Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) on Friday evening. Strange is currently running behind Judge Roy Moore by a substantial margin and has now reached the point of desperation by attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Even though he’s backed by McConnell.

Here are some tweets regarding Strange distancing himself from McConnell:

Even Trump is in on this absurd propaganda:

Of course, the idea that Strange is going to stand up to Mitch McConnell is laughably absurd. As Dale’s link to The Washington Examiner pointed out, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), which is a pro-McConnell PAC, has poured $9 million into the Alabama Senate race on behalf of Strange. In the Senate, Strange has proven himself to be a “rubber stamp” for McConnell and will continue to be one if he win the runoff election.

Conservative Review‘s Chris Pandolfo pointed out that Strange championing himself as a fighter against McConnell shows how politically toxic McConnell has become:

Hopefully Alabamans won’t fall for it. Conservatives have a real chance to cause to strike fear into the hearts of Mitch McConnell and the establishment squishes in D.C. by electing Roy Moore to the Senate.

Trump Stands By ‘Big Luther’ in Alabama Senate Race

 

 

At a rally in Huntsville, Ala. last night, President Trump continued to strongly endorse incumbent Republican Senator Luther Strange. Strange, who is linked to a corruption scandal in Alabama, will face challenger Roy Moore in the Republican primary runoff next Tuesday.

The president kicked off his speech with support for Senator Strange, who he said “will fight for your interests, defend your values and always put America first.” In a rambling speech, Trump said that he liked “Big Luther,” nicknamed for his height, for his loyalty, including a no-strings-attached commitment to vote for the Obamacare reform bill that Trump called the “coolest thing that has happened to me in six months.”

“The last thing I want to is be involved in a primary,” Trump said, adding that he wanted to repay Strange’s loyalty by helping him when he was down in the polls.

“I might have made a mistake,” Trump said of his endorsement. “If Luther doesn’t win, they’re not going to say we picked up 25 points in a very short period of time. They’re going to say, ‘Donald Trump, the president of the United States, was unable to pull his candidate across the [finish] line.’”

Trump said that Strange and challenger Roy Moore were “both good men.” The president said that if Moore won the primary, he would be “campaigning like hell for him,” but expressed doubts that Moore could win the general election.

Politico reports that polling in the race shows Moore with a slight lead in the race. Moore was the top finisher in the first round of polling in August, finishing six points ahead of Strange. The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Doug Jones in a general election on December 12.

Vote for Judge Roy Moore in Alabama




I meant to put this up sooner than now, but I have been near perpetually side tracked in the past few weeks. When I read in Politico that Mitch McConnell is lamenting Steve Bannon spending funds against incumbent Republicans it reminded me I need to do so.

It is really rich for McConnell to be complaining about someone spending money against Republicans in primaries when he is the chief culprit of doing so. McConnell turned the NRSC into an incumbent protection racket and even notoriously pushed the NRSC into support Charlie Crist against Marco Rubio and David Dewhurst against Ted Cruz. He also, after Arlen Specter became a Democrat, wanted the GOP to hold its fire against Specter. McConnell even help rally Democrats to keep Thad Cochran in the Senate against Chris McDaniel, who had the support of the base in Mississippi.

The brilliance of the Citizens United case is not that it lets big money into politics, but that it gives the grassroots a fighting chance to raise money against the establishment. There are plenty of Republican incumbents who need to be defeated and their votes to prop up Obamacare are proof. But McConnell would rather spare them because he never really wanted to repeal Obamacare since it would undermine Kentucky’s own Obamacare expansion.

Roy Moore is a great disrupter. In Alabama, McConnell has poured Republican dollars down a black hole to try to get the corrupt Luther Strange elected. Strange was appointed by the former Governor of Alabama after convincing the Alabama legislature not to impeach that governor. The deal looks increasingly crooked and several legislators have stepped forward to say Strange was himself on the verge of being impeached.

Moore would vote against Mitch McConnell and will be a reliable vote for conservatives, not for the establishment. We need Moore in the Senate and we need Strange out of the Senate. If you live in Alabama, I highly encourage you to vote for Roy Moore.

Poll: Roy Moore Is Heavy Favorite In Alabama Senate Runoff




A new poll shows that former judge Roy Moore has a landslide-size lead in the runoff to decide which Republican faces the Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama’s special Senate election. The poll by JMC Analytics found that Moore currently has a lead of almost 20 points over Luther Strange, the sitting Senator appointed to fill the seat of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The poll, which contacted Alabamans from across the state, found that 51 percent of respondents who were considering voting in the runoff favored Moore. Thirty-two percent planned to vote for Strange with 17 percent undecided.

The big surprise from the poll was how ineffective the Republican endorsements of Strange have been. President Trump carried Alabama with 62 percent of the vote last year, but his endorsement of Strange seems to have had no net effect at all. The poll found that 51 percent said that Trump’s endorsement made no difference. The remainder were split almost evenly between those who said that Trump’s endorsement helped Strange (25 percent) and those who said it hurt him (23 percent).



Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fared even worse. Forty-six percent said McConnell’s endorsement made no difference while 45 percent said it made them less likely to support Strange. Only 10 percent seemed to value McConnell’s endorsement.

Sixty-eight percent self-identified as evangelical Christians. Roy Moore, who is considered a hero by many Christians for his battles to keep a monument to the Ten Commandments in the State Supreme Court building and for his refusal to uphold the Supreme Court ruling instituting same-sex marriage, has a definite advantage among Christian voters. The poll shows Moore with 58 percent support among evangelicals.

Luther Strange has been bedeviled by several corruption scandals. Strange, the former attorney general of Alabama, was appointed to the Senate by Gov. Robert Bentley who was forced to resign in disgrace. Strange, who was in charge of the investigation into Bentley’s extramarital affair and the ensuing cover-up and abuses of power, has been accused of delaying the impeachment proceedings against the former governor.

Strange and many other Alabama politicians also took donations from two companies that are accused of paying outright bribes to state legislator Oliver Robinson. The $360,000 in bribes were associated with an Alabama coal company’s attempt to avoid paying for the EPA cleanup of a toxic site.

Finally, Strange s the subject of an investigation into two felony campaign finance violations. An ethics hearing was originally scheduled for August 2, but was moved to August 16, the day after the initial primary election.

Moore was the top finisher in the first round of polling with 38 percent to Strange’s 32 percent. Pre-election polling had showed the two men in a virtual dead heat. Since neither candidate received a majority, a runoff was scheduled for Sept. 26. The general election will be on Dec. 12.

The new poll was conducted among 515 likely voters and the margin of error is 4.3 percent.

 

 

Here’s the Best Way for Alabama Voters to Rebuke Mitch McConnell Tomorrow




All the polling in Alabama shows Judge Roy Moore is going to come in first tomorrow and go into a run off for the Alabama Senate seat replacing Jeff Sessions. The second spot, however, is neck and neck.

The best way for Alabama voters to rebuke Mitch McConnell tomorrow is to vote for Mo Brooks. Stopping Luther Strange from getting into the runoff will send a strong signal that Alabama voters are opposed to the status quo.

If Strange gets into the runoff, starting Wednesday morning Roy Moore is going to be the subject of a massive barrage of negative attacks. Mitch McConnell will rain down money all over the state of Alabama to destroy Roy Moore.



If Mo Brooks is in the runoff with Moore, McConnell and his lobbyist friends will sit out the race. The McConnell team only wants Luther Strange and they’ll do whatever it takes to get him. Moore is probably not going to be able to withstand the massive air war and ground war against him. McConnell and his thugs are ruthless and will do anything and everything to stop him. Look what they did to Chris McDaniel in Mississippi.

You want to rebuke McConnell and you want to ensure a conservative fighter gets the seat? Vote Mo Brooks tomorrow. Roy Moore is going to be in the runoff, but who gets in the runoff with him will decide whether the GOP establishment gets a strong message or affirmation.

This is Not How You Drain the Swamp, Mr. President

President Trump is engaged in a mild war of words with Mitch McConnell on Twitter. McConnell thinks the President has expectations way too high, but as the President rightly points out, the GOP has promised to repeal Obamacare for seven years. McConnell was just lying. Do we really think he wants to repeal Obamacare? His state expanded Obamacare a few years ago. He has a political interest in ensuring it stays.

Meanwhile, the President is endorsing Luther Strange for the Senate in Alabama. This is not how one drains the swamp. Lest anyone forget, Strange got his appointment to the Senate after convincing the Alabama state legislature not to impeach Governor Bentley. Only after getting into the Senate did the legislature proceed.

On top of that, several Alabama politicians and others have come forward with credible allegations that Strange was in on his own corrupt practices and one person claims Strange was actually in on a bribery conversation, though there is no allegation Strange took a bribe himself.

Strange is a pillar of the establishment status quo and will not rock Mitch McConnell’s boat. In fact, Strange is one of McConnell’s oar hands in the boat. The President, supporting a man like Strange, is not supporting a conservative and is not supporting a man who is truly pledged to advance the President’s agenda. The President is just solidifying Mitch McConnell’s power base. Both of Strange’s opponents are on record opposing McConnell’s continued leadership of the Senate.

This is not how the President drains the swamp and I have to question who on earth is giving him this political advice. Instead of fighting the status quo, the President is propping it up.

Celebrity Endorsements Reveal the Crazy New World of GOP Politics




It’s not unusual to see famous lending their name to the campaigns of Democratic candidates, but celebrity endorsements of Republicans is by far not the norm. In fact, if you lived in the past – say, 2000 or so – and I visited you in a time machine from the future and told you that celebrity endorsements were a feature of a Senate campaign in Alabama, you would probably have me institutionalized!

But this is post-2016 America, and apparently anything goes in the GOP. In the race to replace Republican Senator turned Attorney General Jeff Sessions, two of the biggest candidates are benefitting from some star power.



On Tuesday, President Donald Trump threw his hat into the ring, endorsing Luther Strange, who is currently filling the position after Sessions’ departure for the Cabinet.

Not only does Strange have the weight of the POTUS behind him, but Trump also has the considerable following that only a celebrity who had a life in the spotlight before politics. Trump fans – and Luther Strange fans – can view it as a double-barrelled endorsement.

On the other hand, Judge Roy Moore is basking in the glow of an endorsement from none other than Chuck Norris.

“Judge Roy Moore is the real deal: He’s tough, tested, and has a spine of steel,” Mr. Norris, who previously endorsed Mr. Moore’s successful 2012 race for chief justice, said in a news release Monday, a local CBS affiliate reported.

“The Washington establishment knows they won’t be able to count on him, but Alabama voters can,” Mr. Norris said. “Judge Moore has never backed down from standing for what is right, and that’s exactly what he’ll do in the U.S Senate. That’s why the Washington establishment is spending millions trying to defeat Judge Moore.”

The “Walker, Texas Ranger” star said Mr. Moore “always” puts principles over politics, and said he will work to protect Americans’ First and Second Amendment rights, as well as “our constitutional rights to life.”

Mr. Moore returned the praise, saying, “Chuck Norris is exactly the kind of guy you want on your side,” CBS reported.

I’ll let you write your own Chuck Norris jokes here…

For so many years, conservatives haven’t really cared what celebrities think about the candidates they’re interested in. But we’re in the Donald Trump era where the clout of the famous carries some weight and folks like Kid Rock are running for office (I still can’t get over that one). Maybe this is a blip in history on which we’ll all look back and laugh, or it could be the new normal in Republican politics. Either way, the star-studded attention on the Alabama Senate race is pretty fascinating.